Boys Don’t Cry

The movie “Boys Don’t Cry” can be seen from a sociological perspective focusing on issues of sex, gender, identity and sexuality in a societal context that is set out in the movie. The whole-view or objective view of society can be imposed in a sociological way on the movie. Brandon/Teena as a character shows elements of being male but wants to be female, so there is conflict between his/her sex and gender.

The movie overall can be compared to attitudes of sexual control and violence in a patriarchal society, in which transgendered and GBLT communities are excluded from the rest of society and isolated, and are also put under a special sort of scrutiny that goes past reasonable discretion. The violence in the movie “Boys Don’t Cry” is sort of sugar coated when compared to reality, unfortunately.

Politically speaking, a liberal feminist might view Brandon/Teena’s death as motivated by the state, while a radical feminist might view the whole movie as a bourgeois concept, and the postmodern feminist may consider the meta-implications of the character’s death within a film based supposedly on true events, but in a way that has caused controversy. Sex and gender are very important to Brandon/Teena, and just as important to the characters who persecute him/her.

Sexuality, sex, and gender are related to each other because they all describe in relative terms maleness and femaleness in individuals and the tendency to form male and female roles in societies. There are basic differences between these terms, even though they do inter-relate. Sex is about whether a person has the physical equipment and physiological tendencies of male or female; in this sense, it is not sex defined as the act of getting one’s kicks, but sex as it is filled out on a form, name/age/sex.

Generally sex in this definition is either male or female, although there are those rare individuals who are true hermaphrodites, and there are also increasing possibilities for trans gender individuals in this modern day. The trans gender identity can leave the borders of sex and gender intact. In these modern times, sex is for the most part an either/or proposition that is based on physiology. Gender, on the other hand, is based on culture and behavior rather than strictly on physiology. And sexuality is about what the individual likes or is attracted to.

“Sex refers to biological differences, while gender refers to the cultural construction of male and female characteristics… are the tasks and activities assigned by the culture to the sexes… sexual orientation refers to a person’s habitual sexual attractions and activities… Sexual norms vary considerably cross culturally and through time” (Sex, 2008). Film makers can present their stories any way they want, because it is a free society. It is up to the audience to choose which movies to see.

After watching this movie, if I had a son like Brandon, I would let him do whatever he wanted in public or private, as long as he wasn’t hurting anyone. If his school kicked him out for wearing dresses, I would sue the school and stay on his side. You are supposed to love your children unconditionally. If my boy thought he was a girl, I wouldn’t be uptight about it or blame myself. REFERENCE Boys Don’t Cry and the Brandon Teena philosophy (2008). http://www. flickfilosopher. com/flickfilos/archive/001q/boysdontcrybrandonteena. html Sex vs. Gender (2008). http://www. indiana. edu/~lggender/sex-vs-gender. html

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